Every preview luncheon features a panel of alumni
who offer their personal insight into the benefits, challenges and experience
of the TCU Neeley Executive MBA program. Here are some of our favorite
soundbites from the May 3 luncheon.
Jesse Peltier, ‘11
President, P&H Casters
Jesse felt stuck in his career, like he wasn’t able
to learn anything or grow. He started researching MBA programs, and fell in
love with the Neeley program after talking with Kevin Davis, Director of Recruiting and & External Relations.
Campus president, Universal Technical
Jesus had worked for Universal
Technical Institute for just over 20 years and had grown in the organization,
but didn’t know what he didn’t know. He started the EMBA program to learn what
his skills were, build on his weaknesses and gain a broader perspective on
Founder and CEO, Private Equity and Venture
Ken had a job he loved, working for
the Perot family for almost 25 years, making good money and traveling the
world, but he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do next. He set a goal of making
more money while working only 10-20 hours a week, and chose the TCU Neeley
Executive MBA program to help him get there.
ON PERSONAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
I'm a very collaborative leader that
focuses on building consensus. And what the program kinda brought to light is
that it's great to be collaborative and build consensus, but you also have to
make decisions and move forward. I was able to identify that, start working on
it. Everybody doesn't have to agree, but we all have to have input and then be
able to focus on that.
One thing I think I was missing was
around the financial piece: I couldn't evaluate a company. I couldn't look and
say this company's worth $5 million or $10 million or $100 million, whatever. Even
though I was good with money and good with accounting, math, I couldn't really
get my head around risk and around investment. I fell in love with it when I
Rodriquez’s class. I quit after I graduated and
started a venture capital company so I could do it full time.
Coming from a smaller company, we
don't have a lot of personal development. The program opened me up to working
with different people, different strong individuals. Ken sat next to me the
whole program. We just had a good time learning and working, and if I need to
communicate more, I can try with Ken; and if he's hard to get information from,
I just keep working with him. So we all had the opportunity to practice those
skills right there in the classroom and then take it right back to work, and so
for me that was the biggest part. In fact, my coach was Brooke and I still use
her for my personal coach.
ON BEING CONNECTED
Some of the programs you'll consider
around Texas, they may have larger classes, but I'll challenge you that the
network you get from TCU will actually be a better network than you'll get from
some of those other programs. You will know the 30-35 people. You'll know every
one of them and you'll know them well. I guarantee, it's a fact. But not only
will you know them, you will know most of their spouses. And so you're going to
walk out of the class knowing 50-60 people well enough that they will take your
phone call, and that's a big deal. I leverage that. I invest in a lot of things
now. Stuff that I know very little about. So I'm frequently looking for
somebody that knows a lot more than me in some industry, so I leverage my
network and call people all the time – and they take my call.
One of the things this program does
is intentionally set out to build relationships, which I know was separate from
every other program that I looked at. Ultimately, they're all going to offer
finance and leadership classes and all of that but which one was going to be
more like a family? For me it was TCU. I have relationships with people that I
wouldn't have any other way. And one of my best friends now, I met in the
program. It's just a great network and it's very intentional how they work to
I started looking at which is the best
EMBA program that’s going to be the least expensive? And then after I looked at
them, I said, “I gotta find the best
program 'cause at the end of the day you're spending a lot of money.” Now that
I've spent that money, I would do it again easily. I've already received a number
of financial benefits because of the information I've learned from the program.
But if I wouldn't have made another dime, it's still worth it. You're going to
build networks and relationships and learn information that you're not going to
learn any other way, so I'd probably pay twice as much.
Since the program, we've grown two
and a half fold in seven and a half years. But while ROI is a good step you can
measure, I think your growth as a person is really where you need it. I feel
like a better father, I feel like a better husband, I feel like a better
worker, it just made my character change in the program, and with the amount of
workload that's there – it's there, don't think it's easy – it forces you to
learn time management, forces you to make decisions, forces you to prioritize
in your life. You'll come out of that program changed for the better.
Jesse had probably the best answer.
You're gonna make more money, you're gonna learn, your network's gonna grow and
all that kinda stuff – but your character grows as well. You're a better person
after going through an experience like this. You just know more, you're just
more confident, more grounded in life, you're in a better place. I already had
a great job, I made good money. I was a 4 million-mile flier. I got to do what
I wanted to do. Now, I take a lot of vacation. I don't work very much, 5-10
hours a week, and I make more money than I used to make.
ON JUGGLING WORK, FAMILY AND SCHOOL
For me, it was kind of prioritizing
what's in my life, right? So my extracurricular events, friends, travel, the
family, I had to allot myself the time to do what's more important. There were two
things specifically that I had to do to make it all work. I had to start
getting up earlier in the morning so I could do work in the morning. And I
actually read a speed reading course before I started the program. I think I
went from like 24 pages an hour to almost 80. And now I'm close to 95, so we
were super happy with this – all you guys that are 400-pagers, kudos.
ON THE GAP BETWEEN UNDERGRAD AND MBA
For me it was subject matter – finance
accounting. Although I took some of those classes in my undergrad, it was 20
years ago. Luckily, your team will help you through that. The teachers are
amazing. They'll stay late. They'll come in during off hours and do those
things. So if there's a subject matter that you're struggling with or something
you wanna learn about, just ask. And I promise you, within the network of 30 or
so students in the class, there will be subject matter experts. One of the cool
things that happened with us is the class of 2015 alumni; two of them came in
on their own time, on their own everything and tutored us on an off-class
weekend, in finance and accounting.
Every instructor or professor, if I
recall correctly, gave their mobile number in class, said “if you have
questions, call me. Seven days a week, I'm available.” That doesn't happen very
often. We had the same thing, instructors as well as students from other
classes would come back on their own time, outside of class on like Sunday or
whatever to teach some topics that people were struggling with and all of the
class was always willing to step up and help somebody.
The panel shared much more insight that we
didn’t list here. Join us for the next preview
luncheon and don’t miss a word.
This panel discussion followed an engaging talk by Dr.
Linda LaCoste on leadership development. Read the takeaways here